PHUKET TOWN: The once-popular Nimit Theater on Chana Jaroen Rd caught fire at 2 am today. Firefighters took 15 minutes to extinguish the fire, and managed to contain the blaze to the ground floor of the two-story building, which has 10 rental rooms. Pol Maj Chokchai Sutthimet, of Phuket Town Police Station, told the Gazette that only three of the rooms were rented out, all of them to night workers and former staff of the building’s leaseholder, Saroj Ingkhaammarungpong, who once ran the Lotus Café there. The only person in the building at the time of the fire was the 12-year-old son of Sompong Muanpimtong, a singer at Xzyte pub on Patipat Rd. She explained that her son had to escape the blaze through a broken window because the entrance was blocked by a burning tire. “I had seen the tire in front of the theater before [the fire]. I’m not sure if someone set it on fire or not,” K. Sompong said. “Now my son is staying at a friend’s house and the other tenants are finding other places to live,” she said. “Everything in my room was destroyed. In total, it cost about 200,000 baht.” Maj Chokchai explained that a motorbike kept inside the building by one of the other tenants was also damaged in the blaze, and that the building was not insured. “Officers are investigating the cause of the fire,” he said.
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